Ghana’s Rafael Mensah is overly confident he will emerge winner of his crunch challenge for the WBA super featherweight world championship against the title holder, Alberto Machado of Puerto Rico on Saturday night.
Unbeaten Mensah (31-0, 23 KOs) and also undefeated Machado (19-0, 16 KOs) both made exactly 130 lbs at Friday’s weigh-in to set the stage for their clash, a co-main event with Jaime Munguia’s first WBO junior middleweight title defence against Liam Smith at the Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas to be shown live on HBO.
“I thank Golden Boy Promotions, HBO and Don King Productions, I thank everyone. This fight was a long time coming, but now I’m happy Alberto Machado will fight me. I’m happy to fight on a Golden Boy card. My uncle Ike Quartey fought with the Golden Boy, and now I will fight on a Golden Boy card. Like my uncle, I will fight with everything on Saturday,” Mensah said.
Mensah has never fought outside Ghana but inspired by over seven months training in the US under the instructions of Stacey McKinney, a former assistant trainer of former undisputed heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson, the Ghanaian believes he has worked enough to overcome whatever Machado throws at him on fight night.
“I want to tell Ghanaians to expect victory, I’m bringing the title home. I will teach Machado boxing and beat him very well so that there can be no doubt about my victory,” Mensah told this writer via phone few minutes after making weight.
“If a knockout opportunity comes, I will take care of him. If there is no knockout, I will still beat him so convincingly that nobody can rob me of the verdict. It will be a clear win,” Mensah added confidently.
Mensah is seeking to become world champion number 9 to come out of Ghana and the second this year following 23 year old Isaac ‘Royal Storm’ Dogboe’s historic capture of the WBO junior featherweight title back in April. Mensah is also the fourth boxer from the country to compete for a world title in 2018 after failed challenges of Habib Ahmed and Maxwell Awuku for WBO super middleweight and WBC super featherweight titles respectively.
The Ghanaian who is represented by Don King Productions, is adamant he will not be dissuaded even by projections of Golden Boy Promotions founder, Oscar De La Hoya that this will not only be a first successful defence for Machado, but they expect the 27 year old Puerto Rican to reign for a long time and continue to hold the belt he knocked out Jezreeel Corrales last October to win.
“I don’t care whatever plans they have for Machado, I don’t also care whatever plans the judges have. I will beat him so clearly that nobody can do anything to help him,” Mensah said.
“If a knockout comes, I will just give it to him and come out and rest, if he lasts all 12 rounds then I will hand him severe beatings for the whole world to see that he has truly been beaten,” Rafael Mensah affirmed.